The US has imposed sanctions on five Iranian companies it says are contributing to the country's ballistic missile programme. The sanctions freeze any property the companies hold in the US, and prohibit Americans from dealing with them.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin linked the move to the recent protests sparked by Iran's economic problems. "We will not hesitate to call out the regime's economic mismanagement," he said in a statement. "These sanctions target key entities involved in Iran's ballistic missile programme, which the Iranian regime prioritises over the economic well-being of the Iranian people," the statement said. Mr Mnuchin accused Iran's government of diverting "significant resources to fund threatening missile systems at the expense of its citizenry".
The treasury department said the five companies that have been blacklisted were all subordinates of Iran's Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group (SBIG), which is responsible for developing ballistic missiles. They are:
* The Shahid Eslami Research Center
* Shahid Kharrazi Industries
* Shahid Moghaddam Industries
* Shahid Sanikhani Industries
* Shahid Shustari Industries
The US says Iranian ballistic missile tests conducted in the past year violate a UN Security Council resolution that endorses the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. Resolution 2231 calls upon Iran not to "undertake any activity related to...